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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Do’s and Don’ts: Don’t Use Elapsed Durations with Team Schedules !

There are two types of duration in Project. The Duration field’s values are expressed in working time, so a day is 8 hours by default. This is to accommodate resource assignments and to provide a basis for realistic resource scheduling. The figure below illustrates the idea: One resource working 8 hours per day for 5 days results in 40 hours of effort. (Click on the figure to expand.)


Elapsed durations are durations entered with an “e” prefix. For example 2 elapsed days would be entered as “2ed” or “2edays”. An elapsed day is expressed in consecutive calendar time, so 2 elapsed days represents 48 consecutive hours. In the figure below a resource is assigned to a task 5 elapsed days in duration. Notice the amount of work!

ddt 2

It should be obvious that elapsed duration tasks are not designed for human resource assignments. But for intense, machine driven tasks running on a 24 X 7 basis, it is perfect!

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I will be presenting a webinar on April 18th entitled “Don’t Do This!” wherein I present 9 common project killing errors I have seen over my years using Microsoft Project.  This blog entry is #7 on my list of mistakes. If you are interested in the webinar, register soon – the seats are going quickly! It’s free! Register HERE.